A bill introduced by state Senators Brian Stack (D-32) and Nick Sacco (D-33) seeking to close Kearny’s Keegan Landfill was released from the Senate Environment and Energy Committee this morning.
The bill, SCR-180, calls for the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority to close and cap the Keegan Landfill – which has drawn the ire of officials and residents alike for months due to environmental concerns.
“The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority and the Department of Environmental Protection are strongly urged to take immediate action to close the Keegan Landfill in the Town of Kearny, Hudson County, and install an impermeable cover and gas collection system to eliminate hydrogen sulfide emissions from the landfill,” the bill says.
While the Town of Kearny won a lawsuit seeking the closure of the landfill, the case is pending as the NJSEA has appealed that result.
Kearny Mayor Alberto Santos applauded the legislation since it will raise awareness of this critical West Hudson issue.
â€œI think itâ€™s going to be important in bringing even more attention to the disaster that the Keegan Landfill has become. It now give it a statewide platform. I donâ€™t understand the perspective of the NJSEA … There is no rational reason for what theyâ€™re doing as far as I can tell,” Santos told HCV over the phone.
New Jersey Sierra Club Director Jeff Tittel also took aim at the NJSEA for prolonging the case.
“People could barely breathe in their own homes because of the hydrogen sulfide coming from the sewage sludge NJSEA illegally dumped there. Instead NJSEA want to prolong this hazardous mess and use taxpayer money to do it. Something is really wrong when state agencies are using state money to poison a neighborhood,” he said in a statement.
The main health concern regarding the landfill is that their site regularly emits over 30 parts of hydrogen sulfide per billion (ppb) parts of air, which is beyond the threshold set by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
The NJSEA could not immediately be reached for comment on Monday.